Kerry Washington On Her ‘Scandal’ Character: Olivia Is ‘Nobody’s Role Model’

Kerry Washington has a message for fans who aspire to be like her Scandal character Olivia Pope: pick someone else.

Washington, who plays the strong female lead in the ABC show Scandal, told TV Line recently that she doesn’t understand why females would want to be like Pope.

“I’ve always thought it was misguided when people tell me that Olivia is their role model. Because she’s having an affair with a married man, who is President of the United States. And a murderer… She is nobody’s role model.”

Kerry did understand what makes Olivia such a popular figure. In describing her character, Washington named off a few of the things that makes her Scandal role so attractive, especially to females.

“She’s an entrepreneur. She’s very smart. She has an amazing closet.”

Washington also admits to drawing inspiration from her character as well. New York Daily News noted that Kerry can relate to her Scandal character’s ability to achieve a balance in her personal life. As an actress, mom, and wife, Kerry is juggling multiple full-time duties.

“It makes my heart smile to think that maybe part of the reason I’m taking all this on is because of Olivia. She truly believes that she can handle every situation, and I do feel that has bled into my life. I have more of a sense of my capacity to do anything.”

Yet Kerry realizes that Scandal – like other Shonda Rhimes programs – reflects the human qualities of life. According to Washington in her TV Line interview, that human quality triumphs the flaws and the strengths of everyday life.

“One of the things that Shonda does, and [How to Get Away With Murder creator] Pete [Nowalk] does, is all of these characters are complicated characters. There are no good guys and bad guys in Shondaland. You have three-dimensional, messy human beings. Nothing is perfect in Shondaland, people are real.”

Outside of television, fans of Kerry will see her grace the cover of Self magazine’s September issue. Washington wears only a leotard and sports bra in discussing her body and mind set after giving birth in 2014 to daughter Isabelle, according to the magazine.

“I’ve been really focused on not being ‘back’ to anything, but being the best version of myself right now. My body is the site of a miracle now. I don’t want to be pre-miracle.”

Fans will be able to see Kerry Washington soon on Scandal. The season 5 premiere is September 24.

[Image by Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty Images]